German court frees alleged Auschwitz guard Hans Lipschiz

Hans Lipschiz, a 94-year-old German man who allegedly served as an SS guard in Auschwitz, was deemed unfit to stand trial.

December 6, 2013 22:51
1 minute read.
The 1941 military service record of SS soldier Hans Lipschis

The 1941 military service record of SS soldier Hans Lipschis. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Hans Lipschiz, a 94-year-old German man who allegedly served as an SS guard in Auschwitz, was ordered to be released by a German court after he was deemed unfit to stand trial, according to German media reports.

Lipschiz, who was expelled from the US three decades ago after concealing his past from immigration authorities, is said to be suffering from dementia, a fact that compelled the Ellwangen court to declare a mistrial since he would be unable to mount a credible defense.

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Last year Lipschiz acknowledged that he had served in Auschwitz as a cook in the German military, but denied taking part in any war crimes, according to Israel Radio.

In 1982, Lipschiz was deported to Germany from the US after it was discovered that he had lied about his Nazi past.

During deportation proceedings the Justice Department alleged that as a corporal at Auschwitz Lipschiz had “ordered, incited, assisted or otherwise participated in the persecution of persons... because of their race, religion, national origin or political opinion.”

Arrested in May under the “strong suspicion” he was involved in murder, Lipschiz’s arrest was welcomed by the Simon Wiesenthal Center that had placed him fourth on its list of most-wanted Nazi war criminals.

“Lipschiz served from October 1941 until January 1945 in the most notorious of Nazi death camps, where approximately 1,300,000 inmates were murdered, among them approximately 1,100,000 Jews,” according to the center’s website.

“Lipschiz’s arrest is a welcome first step in what we hope will be a large number of successful legal measures taken by the German judicial authorities against death camp personnel and those who served in the Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing units), which together murdered more than three million Jews during the Holocaust,” Dr. Efraim Zuroff, chief Nazi-hunter at the Wiesenthal Center, said.

Sam Sokol contributed to this article.

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